Next Level is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Meridian International Center. Its mission is to use hip-hop music and dance to foster cross-cultural creative exchange in diverse communities. They work to promote understanding and conflict resolution in these audiences, and support the professional development of artists in those communities. This collaborative international exchange program engages underserved communities in six countries around the world and uses artistic collaboration and social engagement to enhance people-to-people diplomacy, especially among young audiences. Using multi-disciplinary hip hop collaborations, this unique arts-based exchange explores and addresses conflict resolution strategies by sending up to 20 American beat makers, DJs, B-Boys/B-Girls (or experts of other types of hip hop dance), or MCs in teams of 5 artists to lead four- to six-week exchange programs in various countries. Overseas programming will include but is not limited to: workshops, master classes, community performances, and outreach activities.

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